There is continued debate on how to share these costs - with some concerned about unfair burdens on some whereas others are concerned that many east-of-Crandon condo residents and many other homeowners already have buried utilities, and have paid for them in their purchase prices.

And some, even some council members, seem to object to the assessment approach - but please remember the sewer hookup fees (assessments) and that there is a historical precedent of assessment when unique benefits are being received, that others might already have paid for.

My proposal: share the burying costs along Crandon as we all benefit from better utility up-time, say 1/3 of the cost? Similar to the mandatory sewer hookup fee, charge those not already having buried utilities to connect to newly buried trunk lines - 2/3 of total costs?

Merely buying bonds and paying from property taxes for the entire cost has two huge inequities:

1. Some of us have already paid to bury our utilities, and many are facing huge assessments from our condo boards for the 40 and 50 year re-certifications.

2. Long term residents with large grandfathered homestead exemptions and maximum 3% per year tax increases resulting in far lower tax assessment values could pay far less than new residents - even for exact duplicate homes maybe next door to each other.

Hence a hookup fee must be most of the cost recovery.

There seems to be community support for burying the utilities – let’s see if that support wanes when owners are presented with what their hookup costs would be. It may be easier to support a $30 million + price tag when it is assumed little personal direct cost (just a part of the overall tax bill) vs a bill presented for $15000! 

I think you have the cart before the horse here - easy to get support before illuminating the sharing of costs. You have spent close to $1 million of our dollars already on this project and should have addressed the cost sharing first and realized support for the plan in advance of spending that huge sum of taxpayer money. 

Charles Webb, an under-represented east-of Crandon condo owner

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